Allergy and Infectious Diseases
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Basophil and Mast Cell Techniques Manual into Production

After almost exactly two years of hard work, our book in the Springer Protocols Series ‘Methods in Molecular Biology’ has gone into production and will be available soon. This is our first experience as Book Editors and it was a good one! We were impressed by the professionalism of the Series Editor John M Walker and Publisher Humana Press. Many thanks to my colleague and friend Dr Bernhard F. Gibbs at the Medway School of Pharmacy for sharing the intense workload with me.

The Book describes cutting edge protocols for purifying, counting, growing from stem cells or staining basophils and mast cells in tissues or peripheral blood of humans and mice. It consists of 18 Chapters written by leading European labs active in the area of mast cell and/or basophil research. Note that Chapter 13 has been co-authored by our PhD students Daniel Wan and Xiaowei Wang. One of the strengths of the series is that it describes protocols in great detail while remaining accessible to anyone. Extensive notes are used to highlight potential pitfalls and ‘tricks’ which are rarely found in scientific Journals, but can make all the difference between failure and success of a method.

The laboratories represented in this book were brought together by the COST Action BM1007 “Mast Cells and Basophils - Targets for Innovative Therapies”, whose generous funding is gratefully acknowledged here. In addition to the Training School held in Nottingham in the previous year, this book was the main activity and output of Workgroup 2 of this COST action.

As a curiosity, the basophils depicted on the title page are Franco’s own basophil cells which were purified, stained and photographed by our MSc student Dr Nafsika Sismanoglou using the protocol described in Chapter 2 of the same book! Who does ever get a chance to adorn the title page of the book he/she is editing with the own cells? I just hope that no haematologists will get in touch saying that those basophils look strange…

Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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telephone:+44(0) 115 84 66073
email:franco.falcone@nottingham.ac.uk